Mobile Banking Revolution (Infographic)

It’s no secret that mobile banking has taken off in recent years and continues to grow by leaps and bounds. To help illustrate just how much mobile banking is growing FICO pulled together an infographic with some impressive mobile stats. For example, did you know that by 2017 an estimated 1 billion people will be using mobile banking? Read on to learn more about the mobile revolution.

Mobile Banking Revolution

Going Luddite on Mobile

Tracking the adoption of mobile banking is like putting human behavior under a microscope…again. In a sense, it’s very much like the adoption of online banking (or online anything else), only on a much faster scale. To some, it’s still odd working with professionals who can’t remember what business was like before the Internet. Imagine how we’ll feel when the colleague in the next cubicle has no memory of life before “there’s an app for that.”

The issue seems to have taken on extra relevance because there’s been a flurry of articles recently about how mobile banking is not being adopted as widely as it should because of security concerns. Even the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is offering tips on safe mobile banking practices.

There’s nothing wrong with good, sensible advice, but maybe we need some perspective here.

First, let’s be clear about the adoption of mobile banking: It’s growing at an astonishing rate. As far back as 2011, an eternity in tech years, research firm Yankee Group projected in its Mobile Money Forecast that global mobile transactions would grow from $241 billion last year to $1 trillion-plus by 2015. That’s a staggering CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 56%–how many other trends can we say that about?

More to the point, the practice continues to grow without huge amounts of education or even promotion. Just a few years ago, the term ‘mobile app’ didn’t even exist; now there are literally millions of them, and most of us are blasé about what we choose to download and use on a regular basis. The mobile device has effectively blurred the distinction between personal and business use and forced our employers to keep up rather than push us to try new software.

Sure, putting money into the mix changes things. It’s one thing to download a video game for playing while on the road and entirely another to use a new button to make an impulse investment or just transfer funds. But what’s remarkable is not how few people do exactly this and more, it’s how many do it every day.

Again, good advice is always welcome, but it’s likely that most of have already heard (perhaps many times over) what the BBB is telling us we should do to protect out investments. Don’t follow links; don’t download authorized applications; keep devices secure. That said, we probably need to keep hearing it.

It used to be said that while Windows PCs got hacked relentlessly, Macintoshes were pretty safe. That’s statistically accurate, and therefore true, but one reason is that the customer base for Apple products was comparatively small. Hackers went after Windows users for the same reason that Willie Sutton allegedly gave for robbing banks: that’s where the money is. Well, guess where the money is now.

There will always be some, from the hyper-cautious to the Luddites, who resist mobile banking. The alternate reality is that there’s already a vast customer base for mobile banking, and they deserve the greatest attention (which is exactly what cyber-criminals are giving them).

The mobile experience for every human action will continue to evolve and gain in popularity, and banking is no exception. There will be viruses and data breaches, and a few will gain enough of a profile to scare off some potential users. But the technology itself offers too much flexibility, productivity and convenience to completely outweigh the risks.

There’s a downside, and we need to keep it in mind. But as industry professionals, it’s our job not to be overwhelmed by the threats but instead focus on keeping the practice as secure as possible. Our customers—and there are many of them—need that.

This article originally appeared as a guest post on

Mobile Transactions: Playing with Numbers

Could it be that the only numbers growing faster than mobile transactions are statistics about mobile transactions?

According to a new one just out from ABI Research, mobile shopping will make up nearly a quarter of all global online shopping revenue by the end of 2017. That’s great news for companies invested in this arena, since it clearly represents a sharp spike over the current market, which other estimates place at 10%. However, the same source indicated back in February 2010 that mobile shopping would reach $119 billion in 2015, representing about 8% of the overall e-commerce market.

That’s obviously comparing apples to oranges, but the larger problem is that it’s virtually impossible to accurately predict what’s going to happen with regard to technology use. Technological capabilities are always advancing, and user habits are constantly evolving, but the two phenomena frequently seem unrelated. The emergence of new capabilities does drive usage, of course, just as human needs drive the development of those capabilities, but they seldom happen in tandem. The flood of statistics that keep changing illustrates this problem.

In particular, the intersection of money, technological capabilities and behavioral change make for a strange brew. This is the very essence of a moving target.

Consider mobile payments. Portio Research told us back in March 2010 that 81.3 million people worldwide had used mobile device to make payments the previous year. By the end of 2014, this was predicted to rise to nearly 490 million, or 8% of all mobile subscribers. In June 2011, Yankee Group was putting dollar signs into the mix, reporting that global mobile transactions would reach $241 billion in 2011, and jump to more than $1 trillion by 2015. Fast forward another year, and Gartner was reporting that the number for worldwide mobile payment transaction values in 2011 had been $105.9 billion, and will surpass $171.5 billion in 2012. Bringing it back to users, meanwhile, Gartner said there had been 160.5 million in 2011, and is set to jump to 212.2 million this year.

One more demonstration of how the numbers stack up, even if they don’t add up: Yankee Group identified EMEA as the mobile money hot spot, accounting for 41% of mobile transaction value in 2011, compared to 35% for North America, 22% percent in Asia-Pacific and just 1% percent in Latin America. Others saw it differently: According to IDTechEx (R&M), Feb 2011, Japan had 47 million users adopting tap-and-go phones in just three years, and at the very same time, ComScore was revealing that that in December 2010 alone, 10% of Japanese mobile subscribers had used their mobile wallet to make a purchase—a undeniably a high number.

And how about mobile banking? Try this: In the spring of 2010, Global Industry Analysts (GIA) predicted that the global customer base for mobile banking will reach 1.1 billion by the year 2015, while Berg Insight put the corresponding number at 894 million users. In the summer of 2011, Yankee Group brought the figure down further, to 500 million.

Enough already? For sure. In fact—and again, let’s acknowledge that all this involves mixing apples and oranges and a whole lot besides—it may be time for a moratorium on analyses and predictions. Instead, let’s focus more on what we can do to drive the market rather than track where it’s going.

Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices still coming down the pike are not just smaller PCs—they represent, and drive, a sea change in behavior. It’s our responsibility to offer applications and services that are flexible, convenient, customized and secure. And the only numbers that count are the ones where we beat even the most optimistic projections.

This article originally appeared as a guest post on

Infographic: The Mobile Employee

It’s no secret that mobile use amongst consumers is on the rise, but a recent infographic published by [x]cube labs shows an astounding jump in mobile usage among employees in the last year alone. Statistics cited in the infographic state that smartphone usage for work jumped from 69% in 2010 to 91% in 2011. One of the top types of mobile employees noted is the mobile information worker: workers who travel frequently but needs to stay in touch with the office through email and collaboration tools (e.g. financial services professionals, banking executives, consultants, etc.). Within the mobile information worker sector, the percentage of the total workforce is predicted to jump from 24% in 2010 to 30% in 2012. See below for the full infographic.

Are you and your employees using mobile phones more frequently for work? Do you think employees should use company sanctioned mobile devices to do work on-the-go? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

Browse more infographics.

Mobile Maturity

Here’s a conundrum: Is the rising concern over security as it relates mobile banking a sign that mobile banking is gaining legitimacy?

Sadly, yes.

There’s been a lot of talk here and in plenty of other places how mobile banking is being adopted more broadly by providers and consumers alike. With a little push on the innovation front, it’s likely to gain even more traction as the social media generation comes of age. Walking into financial institutions, or even sitting down in front of the PC, is too much work; let your phone or tablet do the banking. We’re surely about to see a plethora of mobile apps that enable us to deal with our finances in ways we never have before. As with every other shift in technology, this is turn will affect our behavior—perhaps even our attitude toward our personal finances.

The flip side to all this, of course, is the downside— a new breed of criminal that poaches on looser protection standards. The goal: to secure access to insecure data.

But again, as with the emergence of every new platform, form factor or application, security takes on a new urgency. The very point of mobile adoption is convenience—everything absolutely must get easier. Now, if something is easier, does that mean it’s automatically less secure?

Let’s hope not, but there’s more work involved to make that happen. Every financial institution is currently rushing products to market, knowing that there’s a huge potential audience for something customizable, unique and useful (so much easier said than done). But given the need for speed, is security getting the attention it should?

In an interview with BankInfoSecurity, Joe Rogalski, information security officer at New York-based First Niagara Bank, warns of the perils of this trade-off. He stresses that every product offering related to mobile banking—be it remote check deposit or just bill pay—needs to be evaluated from a fraud perspective before it goes to market.

But we all know that in the real world, getting there first can be more important than being the best. Is the threat of a serious data breach somewhere down the road worth losing critical market share now?

Just to be clear, even the PCI Security Standards Council is continually playing catch-up with regards to protocols and best practices—the whole field is still too new, and in perpetual motion, to set comprehensive standards. For their part, the bad guys have no trouble finding weaknesses and loopholes. For example, we’re only just starting to learn about a new breed of attack that fools consumers out of their SIM cards. (This mode should concern telecoms as much as FIs.) This is particularly troubling because SIM cards are the favored tool for securing mobile payments at many mobile payment schemes around the world, ironically because it gives the telecom provider more control.

The problem is that too much of this discussion remains in the theoretical realm, and belongs in the real world. So let’s take it as an article of faith that consumer adoption will continue to grow, that FIs will continue to push products out to market that makes diverse banking processes easier, and that criminal elements will use any tactic they can to steal access, steal data and steal money. Because they will.

Moving forward, we need ironclad guidelines, rock-solid processes and innovative technologies to (try and) stay one step ahead of the downside. Mobile banking is natural, beneficial and inevitable. It’s up to us to minimize the threats that emanate from it.

“Show Me The (Mobile) Money”– A Case Study in Monetization

*This blog was originally posted on The Intuit Network

In this week’s Predictions Webcast, IDC’s Chief Analyst Frank Gens declared 2012 the year “Mobile Wins,” meaning we’ll see tablets and smartphones handily outpace their PC predecessors. While this isn’t necessarily a shock– mobile has been barreling toward us all for some time now– the concept of effectively capatalizing on mobile reamins a hot topic.

In the following presentaiton from SIAA’s “All About Mobile Conference,” Intuit’s own John Flora shares how Intuit Financial Services is helping mid-sized banks and credit unions serve their customers at their point of need in the cloud, on a tablet or even a smartphone. It all starts with focusing on “real customer problems” and designing for seamless experiences.

Mobile is the New Web

As mobile banking technologies advance, banks should re-evaluate how they package mobile offerings to their customers. Mobile banking, an umbrella term consisting of mobile applications, mobile web browsing and text message banking, actually improves on the online experience and offers the additional benefit of traveling with your customer. As Net Banker’s Jim Bruene notes, “Equating mobile banking to online is selling it short. Really, it’s much better than online.”  With the added capabilities of near field communication, remote deposit capture and mobile wallets, the mobile banking experience can surpass online by providing resources to customers 24/7, at any location.

Because of these far-reaching and all encompassing attributes, online banking could soon be viewed merely as an extension of mobile. Companies are even beginning to develop mobile technologies first as the amount of time people spend on mobile apps has almost doubled in the past year.

However, Jim indicates that despite the buzz about mobile, it will be banks’ business models that determine success. He says,  “Ultimately, banks will win or lose based on how well they execute on gathering deposits, making loans, facilitating transactions/payments, servicing customers effectively, and pricing it all correctly.”

Are you developing mobile first? Do you see your customers moving towards more mobile than online usage? Tweet @Bankingdotcom or let us know in the comments below.

Mobile Apps Prevail over the Web

In 2009, Apple created a commercial for the iPhone 3 to highlight the versatility of apps, coining a term that has been widely used for the last couple years: “There’s an app for that.” With apps for everything from gaming to banking to social media, it’s no surprise that mobile adoption has soared in the past couple years.

Mobile analytics firm Flurry recently released a report which revealed people are spending more time on mobile applications than on the Web. In fact, the amount of time people spend on mobile apps has almost doubled in the last year. See below for the breakdown:


Are you using mobile apps more than the Web? What are you doing to engage customers on their mobile devices? Tweet @bankingdotcom or let us know in the comments section below.

Mobile’s growth is supersonic—is your strategy up to speed?

By Al Ko, Senior Vice President, Consumer Solutions, Intuit Financial Services

We are entering an era where financial management online via PC is being eclipsed by the “anytime, anywhere” convenience of mobile phones and tablet devices. As technological advancements fuel changing customer expectations, financial services innovation will continue to forever alter existing paradigms of transacting, accessing information and providing customer service. There is no looking back:

  • A recent study from IDC shows that smartphones are outpacing PCs: there were more smartphone shipments than personal computer shipments around the world in the last quarter of 2010.
  • Celent forecasts that the number of mobile banking users in the U.S. will quadruple between 2010 and 2014, reaching 77 million.
  • Javelin Strategy & Research found that one in five consumers had mobile banked within the previous 12 months, and 7 percent of consumers who switched financial institutions did so for mobile banking capabilities.
  • USAA reported that in less than one year, 1.5 million checks and nearly $1 billion were deposited via mobile.

Leading financial institutions are riding this tidal wave: 80 percent of the top 19 have iPhone apps, according to Javelin … and Android is catching up. But it’s not all about apps—consumers in the millions are opting for the speed and simplicity of text-message banking, and the convenience of Web banking on their mobile device’s browser, which is about to get even more powerful with the advent of HTML5.

Tell us how your financial institution is thinking about and forming its mobile strategy and the challenges that you face. What other aspects of mobile banking concern/interest you?

***All participants contributing to this particular blog topic shall be eligible for a chance to win an iPad 2 provided by the Intuit Financial Services Mobile Banking Sweepstakes. Click here to read the official rules. The sweepstakes to win an iPad 2 close on June 2, 2011 at 11:59:59 PM PT. People posting comments received after that time will not be eligible to enter the contest.***

Mobile Payments Round-Up

The mobile payments industry is evolving quickly, so our staff has gathered some of the interesting mobile payments stories we’ve enjoyed reading over the past week. Let us know what you’ve been reading in the comments section below.

More than a smartphone: The New York Times recently reported on the companies contending for a piece of the mobile wallet. With no clear leader in the space everyone from banks, credit card companies, payment networks and mobile phone carriers are trying to find where they can fit into the mobile wallet, and how they will get paid. According to the New York Times, the mobile wallet provides a big opportunity, “The stakes are enormous because small, hidden fees that are generated every time consumers swipe their cards add up to tens of billions of dollars annually in the United States alone.”

Google’s jump into NFC: This week, Google announced that they are teaming with MasterCard and CitiGroup to embed technology into Android devices, making a strong push into the NFC space. VeriFone Systems, who makes credit-card readers for cash registers, will play a large role in the announcement as the company plans to roll out more credit-card readers that enable consumers to pay by simply tapping their smartphones.  The Wall Street Journal, who broke this week’s news, wrote “The planned payment system would allow Google to offer retailers more data about their customers and help them target ads and discount offers to mobile-device users near their stores, these people said. Google isn’t expected to get a cut of the transaction fees.”

AMEX and Visa, on your phone: American Express has followed in Visa’s footsteps and released a payment service that allows Android and iPhones to be utilized for person-to-person (P2P) online payments. The service, named Serve, is also available through Facebook and CIO Magazine reported, “Serve also allows users to create and manage sub-accounts for friends and family members to, for example, pay a child’s allowance or a dog walker fee.”